It has been a tough year for everyone and what better way to celebrate the gradual return to normality by getting dressed up to go out!
The most accessible and familiar form of purchase for most people. An off-the-peg suit is a sold as seen garment you would find in a store, literally purchased straight off-the-peg.
The price point of these garments vary greatly depending on the brand, however there will be a price point to compliment every budget. These garments are mass produced with larger brands tending to keep quite conservative in style and colors as they need to appeal to the wider demographic.
The construction, especially on the lower priced suits, is usually what we refer to in the industry as speed tailoring. The foreparts have a fused layer of material applied to the inside to provide structure. This technique was introduced in the 70’s and is applied to save time during construction, allowing the garments to be produced faster and sold at a cheaper price point.
For those wishing to have more freedom of choice than off-the-peg offers this is one to consider.
A made-to-measure suit is cut from a block pattern and adjusted to your measurements. Generally you are provided with a list of style choices such as peak lapel or notch lapel, slant or straight pockets, one, two or three button front etc.
Although you have more freedom with style than off-the-peg suits, there is still a limit to your choices as the blocks are already made and the factory production line is already in place.
However, with made-to-measure you do have the opportunity to choose the cloth and lining you would like to have.
The price point is a good indication of the construction. The cheaper MTM suits are likely to be constructed using the fused foreparts similar to off-the-peg. Higher priced MTM suits might be constructed with a half canvas or a floating canvas.
It is always a good question to ask to make sure you are getting you value for money. With MTM some companies offer fittings for an extra fee but generally the garment will be made straight to the final stage and can have minor alterations applied at the end.
When it comes to tailored garments bespoke is the pinnacle. Bespoke tailoring allows you to have exactly what you want. You choose the cloth, lining, style, fit and any personal touches you wish to have.
Pratt & Prasad, a bespoke tailoring company based in London, England, believe ‘The possibilities are endless’. Unfortunately the term bespoke has been adopted by everyone with a lot of MTM services passing themselves off as bespoke. Ask your tailor questions and do your research to ensure you are getting true bespoke.
A true bespoke suit starts with a pattern drafted uniquely for the client, this will follow the client throughout their bespoke life. The jacket will have a floating canvas made from three layers of natural fibers hand padded together.
The construction will have considerable amounts of hand stitching throughout and the process will involve at least 2-3 fittings to achieve perfect fit.
Bespoke tailoring is not confined to suits and although it is perceived as expensive, it is an investment in a sustainable piece that will last a lifetime.
Haddon Pratt is a London-based bespoke tailor whose most recent training from by Terry Haste and John Kent from the renowned Kent, Haste & Lachter. Having spent over a decade as a tailor, Haddon has created handmade bespoke suits for a wide spectrum of clients, include English pop band, McFly.